Haskell rules for Bazel.
regnat and mboes Remove `HaskellPrebuiltPackageInfo` (#442)
Solve #440 by provinding an alternative haskell_import rule in haskell/import.bzl which directly generates an HaskellLibraryInfo, HaskellBuildInfo and HaddockInfo for the dependency.

There is also a new set of rules in haskell/nix.bzl to generate these rules from a nixpkgs definition with just a bit of boilerplate (see the documentation of haskell_nixpkgs_packages).
Latest commit 1b3cabc Nov 16, 2018



Haskell rules for Bazel


Bazel automates building and testing software. It scales to very large multi-language projects. This project extends Bazel with build rules for Haskell. Get started building your own project using these rules wih the setup script below.

Rule summary

The full reference documentation for rules is at https://haskell.build.


Rule Description
haskell_repositories Declare external repositories needed for rules_haskell
ghc_bindist Setup a binary distribution of GHC

BUILD rules:

Rule Description
haskell_library Build a library from Haskell source.
haskell_binary Build an executable from Haskell source.
haskell_test Run a test suite.
haskell_doc Create API documentation.
haskell_toolchain Declare a compiler toolchain.
haskell_cc_import Import a prebuilt shared library.
cc_haskell_import Expose all transitive shared object libraries for haskell dependency.


You'll need Bazel >= 0.14.0 installed.

The easy way

In a fresh directory, run:

$ curl https://haskell.build/start | sh

This will generate initial WORKSPACE and BUILD files for you. See the examples and the API reference below to adapt these for you project. Then,

$ bazel build //...    # Build all targets
$ bazel test //...     # Run all tests

You can learn more about Bazel's command line syntax here. Common commands are build, test, run and coverage.

Doing it manually

Add the following to your WORKSPACE file, and select a $VERSION (or even an arbitrary commit hash) accordingly.

  name = "io_tweag_rules_haskell",
  strip_prefix = "rules_haskell-$VERSION",
  urls = ["https://github.com/tweag/rules_haskell/archive/v$VERSION.tar.gz"],

load("@io_tweag_rules_haskell//haskell:repositories.bzl", "haskell_repositories")


Then, add this to your root BUILD file:


  name = "ghc",
  version = "8.2.2",
  tools = "@my_ghc//:bin",

The haskell_toolchain rule instantiation brings a GHC compiler in scope. It assumes that an external repository called @my_ghc was defined, pointing to an installation of GHC. The recommended option is to provision GHC using Nix, but you can also point to an existing local installation somewhere in your filesystem. Using Nix, this is done by adding the following to your WORKSPACE file:

  name = "my_ghc",
  attribute_path = "haskell.compiler.ghc822"

Alternatively, you can point to an existing global installation:

  name = "my_ghc",
  path = "/usr/local", # Change path accordingly.
  build_file_content = """
package(default_visibility = ["//visibility:public"])
    name = "bin",
    srcs = glob(["bin/*"]),


See rules_haskell_examples for examples of using these rules.

For rules_haskell developers

To run the test suite for these rules, you'll need Nix installed. First, from the project’s folder start a pure nix shell:

$ nix-shell --pure shell.nix

This will make sure that bazel has the exact same environment on every development system (python, ghc, go, …).

To build and run tests locally, execute:

$ bazel test //...

Skylark code in this project is formatted according to the output of buildifier. You can check that the formatting is correct using:

$ bazel test --config lint //...

If tests fail then run the following to fix the formatting:

$ bazel run --direct_run //skylark:buildifier **/*.bzl **/BUILD


See https://api.haskell.build for the reference documentation on provided rules. Using ./serve-docs.sh, you can also view this documentation locally.

Language interop

We may be supporting interop with other languages in one way or another. Please see languages listed below about how.


C/C++ libraries can be specified as dependencies. Importing prebuilt libraries and exporting Haskell libraries as C/C++ dependencies currently requires the haskell_cc_import and cc_haskell_import rules. These are temporary workarounds to Bazel limitations.


You can supply java_* rule targets in deps of haskell_binary and haskell_library. This will make jars produced by those dependencies available during Haskell source compilation phase (i.e. not during linking &c. but it's subject to change) and set the CLASSPATH for that phase as well.

Building Cabal packages published on Hackage

This repository contains no special support for building Cabal packages. This is provided by downstream rule sets. We recommend Hazel for generating rules to build packages published on Hackage, or part of Stackage snapshots, using Bazel.


No such file or directory

If you see error messages complaining about missing as (ld or indeed some other executable):

cc: error trying to exec 'as': execvp: No such file or directory
`cc' failed in phase `Assembler'. (Exit code: 1)

It means that your gcc cannot find as by itself. This happens only on certain operating systems which have gcc compiled without --with-as and --with-ld flags. We need to make as visible manually in that case:

# Create a symlink to system executable 'as'
    name = "toolchain_as",
    outs = ["as"],
    cmd = "ln -s /usr/bin/as $@",

# Make it visible to rules_haskell rules:
    name = "ghc",
    tools = "@ghc//:bin",
    version = "8.4.1",
    extra_binaries = [":toolchain_as"], # <----

__STDC_VERSION__ does not advertise C99 or later

If you see an error message like this:

/root/.cache/bazel/_bazel_root/b8b1b1d6144a88c698a010767d2217af/external/ghc/lib/ghc-8.4.1/include/Stg.h:29:3: error:
     error: #error __STDC_VERSION__ does not advertise C99 or later
     # error __STDC_VERSION__ does not advertise C99 or later
29 | # error __STDC_VERSION__ does not advertise C99 or later
   |   ^

It means that your gcc selects incorrect flavor of C by default. We need C99 or later, as the error message says, so try this:

    name = "ghc",
    tools = "@ghc//:bin",
    version = "8.4.1",
    compiler_flags = ["-optc-std=c99"], # <----

bazel fails because some executable cannot be found

Make sure you run your build in a pure nix shell (nix-shell --pure shell.nix). If it still doesn’t build, it is likely a bug.

A Haskell dependency fails with strange error messages

If you get cabal error messages the likes of:

CallStack (from HasCallStack):
  dieNoWrap, called at libraries/Cabal/Cabal/Distribution/Utils/LogProgress.hs:61:9 in Cabal-
    The following packages are broken because other packages they depend on are missing. These broken packages must be rebuilt before they can be used.
installed package lens-labels- is broken due to missing package profunctors-5.2.2-HzcVdviprlKb7Ap1woZu4, tagged-0.8.5-HviTdonkllN1ZD6he1Zn8I

you’ve most likely hit GHC’s infamous non-deterministic library ID bug.